I’ve read a lot about what it’s like to have little boys.
As a mother of three sons, I can attest to the fact that they are certainly interesting creatures and there is indeed much to say about them; how they love mud puddles and wreaking havoc. Their boundless energy and love of games and all things that involve balls. How snuggly they are. What it’s like to clean up after them, and feed them and love them and figure out how their brains work.
But what happens after those little boys grow up? Since my sons are (mostly) grown now, here are six things I think you should know.
When your son grows up…
1—He won’t communicate more.
Of course there are always some exceptions. However, most boys don’t feel the need to convey the trivialities of life and that will continue. There won’t be constant texts and calls from him. And when you do hear from your son, don’t expect him to tell you every detail of his life. However, once in a while, when you least expect it, he may share some specifics with you. Learn to expect short answers to your questions, like “fine” and “pretty good.” It’s up to you to fill in the blanks around those answers. For the most part go under the assumption that no news is good news.
2—He will still make a mess.
When your young adult son comes home, despite the fact that he has been living on his own, his bed will still remain unmade, his aim in the bathroom will not have improved and you will still find dishes in the sink. Although annoying, you will be so happy to have him home again you will be more willing to deal with the disorder and untidiness. Because now you realize how temporary it is.
3—He will still enjoy games that involve balls.
But now his love and passion for sports will have progressed to a new level. He won’t be just kicking a soccer ball in the backyard or throwing a basketball repeatedly into a plastic hoop while you marvel at his perseverance. He will watch sports on television. He will attend sporting events. He will read about sports. He will play sports. He will talk about sports with his friends. He will participate in fantasy leagues and spend time working on his draft picks and teams. He will actually have sports coursing through his veins. And that will not change.
4—He will still be cuddly.
When your son is home he will appreciate a tuck in and a kiss good night as much as he did when he was a boy. And he will still be sweet. You will hear, “I love you, mom” in a voice, that although deeper, is as earnest as it was decades earlier. When my boys were little I always gave them a kiss after they got a haircut and told them how handsome they looked. To this day, if one of my sons gets a haircut when he is home, he will seek me out, point to his cheek and ask me for a “haircut kiss.” Young men are more sentimental than you may realize and the traditions you create with them will endure.
5—You will be able to count on him.
Those little boys become men you can depend on when you need to. When my father died, my older sons stepped up to the plate with chores and support in ways I could not have anticipated and I felt comforted by their presence and love. I sometimes ask them for advice and their opinions on a variety of subjects. Expect that your son’s shoulders will broaden, both literally and figuratively.
6—He will bring home someone else for you to love!
My sons have brought home wonderful girls whose company I really enjoy. An added bonus is that the girlfriends are better communicators than my boys (please refer back to number 1) and provide details and information about loads of topics!
When I was a little girl I remember hearing the adage, “A son’s a son until he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life.” Even back then I thought that was an odd saying and I felt sorry for the person who thought it up. Because it’s just not true. So feel free to cross that one off your long list of things to worry about.
Both my father and brother were devoted sons their entire lives and I already see that quality in my boys as well. While I occasionally miss those little boys I once had dashing through the house, I am truly grateful that those boys have grown into fine men who make me proud in so many ways.
This post originally appeared on Her View From Home.
You can read more of Marlene’s work on Thoughts From Aisle Four.